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No change in Nawaz’s October 21 return plan, confirms Shehbaz

  • Shehbaz says No legal merit in Nawaz Sharif’s cases.
  • Outgoing CJP made decisions benefiting Imran Khan: Shehbaz.
  • Nawaz Sharif will appear before the courts upon return: Tarar.

LONDON: Former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said that his brother and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif is set to land in Pakistan on October 21 and the recent Supreme Court (SC) decision on National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Amendment case has nothing to do with his cases.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif spoke to the media after holding a legal session, attended by Nawaz Sharif, Suleman Sharif and lawyers Azam Nazir Tarar, Amjad Pervez and Attaullah Tarar.

Shehbaz said that cases against Nawaz were made on false grounds and were politically motivated.  

“There is no legal merit in the cases framed against Nawaz Sharif and he has never relied on the new NAB laws. He will be in Pakistan on October 21,” said Shehbaz.

The former prime minister condemned outgoing Chief Justice, Umar Atta Bandial, and said he made controversial and political decisions which benefited Imran Khan. Bandial went out of his way to help Pakistan Terheek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and violated his oath, alleged the PML-N leader.

“The 2-1 decision he gave is regrettable. To a great extent, he has restored a dictator’s black law. When Imran Khan changed NAB law through a presidential order to give NRO to his sidekicks, where was Bandial? Why didn’t he act like this at that time? That Ordinance was for four months and Imran Khan’s sponsors benefitted from that. That was a classic example of Niazi-NAB collusion,” Shehbaz asked.

The PML-N president also said that Pakistan was harmed through a conspiracy that brought Khan to power and Pakistan’s journey of progress and prosperity stopped. He said that if given a clear mandate again, Nawaz Sharif would take Pakistan’s economy to the level where it was in 2017 when he was ousted for not taking a salary from his son.

Addressing Raja Riaz’s inclusion into the PML-N, Shehbaz said that he and his brother welcomed the former PTI lawmaker and opposition leader Raja Riaz into the party. 

“We have welcomed Raja Riaz into PML-N. For 16 months, he was leader of the opposition in the national assembly. I hope his joining will strengthen the party,” the former prime minister said.

Meanwhile, expressing views on his newfound political affiliation Raja Riaz remarked: “I am thankful to Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif for trusting me. The whole of Pakistan is active in welcoming Nawaz Sharif and I will play my role.”

Furthermore, former law minister Azam Nazir Tarar told the media that when Nawaz returns to Pakistan, he will face all cases in respect of the courts. 

Taking a dig at PTI chairman, Tarar said: “Nawaz Sharif will not put a bucket on his head. He will appear in the courts smiling and he will be vindicated on merit. There is no substance in the false cases made against him.”

“We will work in accordance with the law. We will not attack the courts and we will not do anything to evade the course of justice as was seen recently. There will be open hearings and the truth will be established,” he added.

The former law minister was also of the opinion that some judges have violated their oath and damaged Pakistan through their political bent.

Separately, lawyer Amjad Pervez — who fought and won Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s Avenfield case — said he had won the case in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on merit.

“From day one, we have said there is no evidence of corruption. These cases were made for political engineering and we proved it as such on record during the trial. Arshed Malik’s confessional video is an example. I see no difficulty as far as law is concerned. All cases are on merit. We will have no issues winning these cases on merit,” Pervez said.

When reminded how decisions against Nawaz and his daughter were secured during the 2017 and 2018 “rigging campaign”, Pervez said the “neutrality” factor will play a role as everyone knows how Maryam and Nawaz Sharif were victimised in 2018 and “Justice Shaukat Siddiqui spoke on record as what had happened.”

Earlier, PML-N Deputy Secretary General Attaullah Tarar said that Nawaz’s planned return to Pakistan on October 21 will not be affected by the Supreme Court’s decision on PTI chief’s petition challenging amendments made to the country’s accountability laws during the tenure of the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government.

Tarar said there was overwhelming evidence that Nawaz was an innocent man and “no case is a hindrance in his way of return to Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif’s return date remains the same. The date has been announced. He is coming back on the same date.”

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